Today marks one week until the USA’s midterm elections.
In a FiveThirtyEight polling aggregate, the Democratic Party holds a nearly 10 percentage point lead over the GOP in the generic congressional ballot. In the months leading up to October, Republicans have largely lagged in ballot polls until recently as voters have “come home” following the Kavanaugh allegations. They did the same in 2016.
The House and Senate models are diametric opposites with the Democrats expected to do better than in 2016 when the House was last elected but possibly not better than in 2012 when these Senate seats were last contested: Democrats have a 5 in 6 chance of taking the House, according to the site’s Deluxe model, which aggregates polling, “fundamentals,” historical trends, past voting trends, expert ratings and other variables. Republicans have that same probability in keeping the Senate.
The gubernatorial model shows that while Republicans maintain the lead in governor races, competitive races remain even in states that Trump won: Wisconsin, Ohio and Georgia are all tossups. (Nevada is the only tossup state won by former Secretary Hillary Clinton); in the Florida race, Mayor of Tallahassee Andrew Gillum (D) has a slight edge over U.S. Representative Ron DeSantis (R-Jacksonville); and even states like Kansas and South Dakota have stayed competitive.
The voting bloc that handed President Donald Trump his upset victory two years ago has largely wavered in support, causing races thought to be shoo-ins for Republicans to tighten; that, and the party has consistently been outspent by their Democratic counterparts in the months leading up to the elections.
In Alachua County, Florida — home to the bustling college town Gainesville — turnout in the early vote has increased 84.1 percent compared to the same time in 2014. This comes after a federal judge ruled that college campuses in the state must provide polling access.
One variable to note is the declining incumbency advantage. A FairVote analysis found that the advantage in 2016 was only half of that in 2008, depicting strong anti-incumbent sentiment.